Humanities in the News
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Anita Girvan & Jana Millar-Usiskin, English
Research for a better life
Four UVic teams were among the 25 winners of the recent SSHRC Storytelling Challenge, including two students from the Department of English, Anita Girvan (PhD candidate) & Jana Millar-Usiskin (MA Graduate). The UVic videos were unveiled Tuesday as the last in a cascade of reveals which began Apr. 2 with Memorial University. UVic News @uvicnews
Caitlin Windsor has something to say to UVic donors: thank you! At age 19, Caitlin suffered a series of small strokes that left her temporarily unable to walk and compromised her vision. The generosity of UVic donors both enabled and inspired her to continue her degree in English literature and linguistics and, in spite of the serious medical challenges she faced during her time in Victoria, she will be graduating this year.
Caitlin moved to Victoria from Black Creek—a small farming community near Campbell River—in 2008 with the intention of studying sciences. She soon discovered, however, that her true passions lay in literature and linguistics. She was captivated by the beauty and elegance of the books she studied in her English classes, and loved reading, analyzing texts, and learning about literature in general. A renewable scholarship contingent on her maintaining an A average enabled her to study what she loved.
However, Caitlin’s studies were interrupted at the end of her second year when caveromas—pockets of blood created by a genetic condition—in her brain began to leak, causing a series of small strokes. The first of these strokes left Caitlin unable to walk and struggling to remember anything her brain deemed unessential—such as the finer points of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Although Caitlin recovered quickly from this first stroke and returned to classes six months later, the caveromas and recurring strokes continued to impact her studies. At the end of her third year, a blood vessel leaked and impeded her eyesight for several months; in her fourth year, another caveroma damaged a part of her brain responsible for vision, making reading—and, by extension, her coursework—exceedingly difficult.
Although doctors, family, and friends assured Caitlin that there would be no shame in quitting her degree, Caitlin insisted on persevering. Her determination was partially due to the generous support of UVic donors. As she said in a recent speech to UVic donors, “I had been given such a precious gift in the form of my scholarship… You believed in me and students like me even though you didn’t know our names when you donated. How could I simply quit in light of that fact?”
Caitlin will be graduating in a few months, and she takes with her more than a hard-earned degree. During her time at UVic, Caitlin also cultivated the mental and emotional tenacity she knows she will need to complete a program in interpretation for American Sign Language.
Read Caitlin's speech from the President's Circle Dinner at Government House, May 1, 2013.
Stephen Ross, English
The Long Now of Ulysses: Curating Literature after the Internet.
Using James Joyce's Ulysses as its tutor text, this student-curated exhibit runs in the McPherson Library, Maltwood Prints and Drawings Gallery until August 12. More info
Eric Sager, History & Paul Bramadat, Studies in Religion & Society
Op/Ed: Gutting census a poor decision
In an editorial in today's Times Colonist, Eric Sager and Paul Bramadat are quoted in regards to Statistics Canada replacing the mandatory long-form census with the voluntary household survey. Times Colonist UVic Experts
Stewart Arneil, Humanities Media and Computing Centre
viHistory Project Award
Last week Stewart Arneil received the 2013 Digital Communications award from the Hallmark Heritage Society for work done on the viHistory project to make information on late 19th and early 20th century buildings in Victoria available to researchers and the general public. Stewart was nominated by Pat Dunae, Adjunct Professor in the Department of History. vihistory.ca
Eric Sager, History
UVic prof slams survey for 'poor quality' data
Eric Sager comments in a Metro News article regarding the National Household Survey that "certain groups are less likely to fill out the voluntary survey" and "that poses a serious problem for anyone working with those groups or in those affected regions." Metro News UVic News
Departments of English and Philosophy contribute to UVic’s position as the top-ranked Canadian research university
The Departments of English and Philosophy contribute to UVic’s position as the top-ranked Canadian research university without a medical school and as the top-ranked Canadian university for research based on international collaboration.
The QS University subject rankings, published annually by Leiden University’s Centre for Science and Technology, use data from the Web of Science to calculate the research performance of 3000 universities in specific subject areas. UVic was identified in the top 200 institutions globally for research in five QS subject areas: Earth and Marine Science, Geography, Law, Philosophy, and English.
The QS rankings specifically noted Dr. Janelle Jenstad (English) for her groundbreaking digital humanities project, the Map of Early Modern London.
Dr. Janelle Jenstad, Dept. of English
Paul Bramadat, History/Studies in Religion & Society
A leap for some faiths, but many are losing their religion
The Globe and Mail has turned to Paul Bramadat for comment on the latest release of data from the National Household Survey. Dr. Bramadat believes "Canada's Muslim community grew by much more than the survey suggests." Globe and Mail UVic News
Lynne Marks, History
Op/Ed: Harper's Tories aim to whitewash Canadian history
Lynne Marks has written an opinion piece for the Times Colonist regarding the Conservative government putting forward a plan for a "thorough and comprehensive review of significant aspect of Canadian history." Marks is concerned that the federal government wants to only teach the parts of history that fit their vision. Times Colonist
Magdalena Kay, English
Opinion: Not a gentleman, but a scholar
Magdalena Kay has an opinion piece in The Humanist magazine, an award-winning publication by the American Humanist Association, (in print and online) about the perception of female scholars in higher ed. Humanist.org
Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins, Linguistics
Dying languages: scientists fret as one disappears every 14 days
The Toronto Star is reporting that as many as half of the world's 7,000 languages are expected to be extinct by the end of this century and Ewa Czaykowska-Higgins comments in the article. Toronto Star
Helga Thorson, Germanic & Slavic Studies
Holocaust project staging oratorio of survivor's experience
The Globe and Mail has run a feature article on the new UVic archive project and its first donation: A. Peter Gary's oratorio. Two students from UVic's inaugural I-witness Holocaust Field School were the driving force behind the project, which is overseen by Helga Thorson, the field school's co-founder. Globe and Mail UVic News
Zhongping Chen, History
Victoria’s Chinatown: Gateway to the Past and Present of Chinese Canadians
Zhongping Chen (History) spoke with host Pamela McCall of CFAX 1070 Wednesday about “Victoria’s Chinatown: Gateway to the Past and Present of Chinese Canadians” (http://chinatown.library.uvic.ca), a new online resource at UVic Libraries which provides visitors with access to hundreds of digital images illustrating Chinese experiences in Victoria and Pacific Canada. UVic News
Mariel Grant, History
Letter: A leader's death
Mariel Grant has written a letter which has now appeared in the Globe and Mail regarding Margaret Thatcher and how she was admired by many people, but also loathed by some. Globe and Mail (scroll down)
Elizabeth Vibert, History
Canada’s new aid direction
Elizabeth Vibert had a letter to the editor in Monday's Globe and Mail in response to the paper's editorial about Canada’s new aid direction (Toward Better, Smarter Foreign Aid – Focus, March 30). She says it reflects a disturbing ignorance of the history of international assistance. Letter
Eric Sager, History
A leap ahead for the museum
Eric Sager's recent comments in the Times Colonist that “history is the past that exists in the present: It is the social memory that guides us between past, present and future. Without it, we have amnesia, and we cannot see our way clearly,” are quoted again in a TC editorial about the Royal BC Museum. The museum is undergoing an assessment so that the space is used more effectively and access is improved to collections and archives. Times Colonist
Eric Sager, History
Op/Ed: History is more than just getting the facts right
Eric Sager has written an opinion piece in the Times Colonist regarding the common misunderstandings about what history is and what it is for. Sager writes about the value of the skill set of historians and other humanists and how health-related occupations are the fastest growing jobs sector according to Statistics Canada, but that job growth was also strong in "art, culture, recreations and sport." Times Colonist
Ray Siemens, English
Parsing the humanities
Canada has emerged as a leader in digital humanities and this fact makes our country’s scholars among the ones to watch. Canada's higher-ed magazine turns to Ray Siemens, who started the field’s longstanding training facility, the Digital Humanities Summer Institute, and who holds the Canada Research Chair in Humanities Computing at UVic. University Affairs
Magdalena Kay, English
College and the Cult of Narcissism
Magdalena Kay has had an essay published in the highly influential magazine The American Scholar (Spring 2013), including a front-page 'throw' to the article in the spring edition. Kay writes that "for a culture obsessed with immediate gratification...the question is not just whether we can twist our favorite subject so that its relevance becomes visible, but whether we can persuade people to study at all when so many easier pleasures beckon."
The American Scholar (subscription only)
John Price, History & Christine O'Bonsawin, Indigenous Studies / History
Op/Ed: Beyond 'quick wins' - Decolonizing BC
John Price and Christine O'Bonsawin have written a piece for the Times Colonist centred on BC's past and its questionable treatment of minority groups. They ask, "Is it not time to allow a new generation to learn the truth about this province's past?" Times Colonist
Lincoln Shlensky, English
Smoking in film
Lincoln Shlensky, who also specializes in cultural and media studies including a focus on film, was one of two guests on CFAX Radio's Terry Moore talk show last Friday about the BC Healthy Living Alliance proposal to assign 'R' ratings for gratuitous depictions of smoking in film. CFAX (37-min mark)
Reginald Roy, History
He preserved Canadian soldiers' stories
Tom Hawthorn of the Globe and Mail has written a tribute to Reginald Roy who passed away on Jan. 22, 2013. The piece touches on every aspect of his life including the military oral history collection he established that now comprises more than 700 interviews with veterans who fought in wars from the First World War to Afghanistan. Globe and Mail
Annalee Lepp, Women's Studies
New butlers add beefcake to service industry and they're recruiting in Victoria
Butlers in the Buff, an international company now recruiting in Victoria and offering the services of scantily clad butlers to bachelorettes, birthday girls and anyone else, is the focus of a Times Colonist story. Annalee Lepp comments that these types of services "reinforce traditional ideas about male sexuality, at the same time as turning them on their heads." Times Colonist
Paul Wood, History
Paul Wood was interviewed on CFAX radio about Scottish separatism, on the noon hour show Thursday. Wood was also the university's first Scottish Studies Fellow.
Military historians & veterans' memories
Reginald Roy, History
One of Canada’s leading chroniclers of military history passed away on Tuesday in Saanich at the age of 91. A veteran of five European theatres of war, Reginald Roy spent 30 years as a history professor at UVic and helped to write the official Canadian history of the Second World War. He was “'the pioneer at UVic for veterans’ oral history,' said his successor, David Zimmerman." The UVic course ensures that veterans’ memories - recorded in their own words - would long outlive them. Times Colonist
iSLR Field Recorder
Chris Coey, Linguistics
A new version of the iSLR Field Recorder is available at the iTunes store. It has been modified so that it can now be used in a variety of ways: ESL, Sociolinguistics, Linguistics Fieldwork (e.g., Language Preservation), Vocab Training, etc. etc. – pretty much any situation where you would like to make a recording or words, phrases, etc. in any language that is supported by iOS. itunes.apple.com/us/app/islr-field-recorder/id594675946?mt=8
No upcoming announcements
For the Next Week:
- Martyr or Misfit? Re-examining Archbishop Seghers' Great Adventure and Tragic Death... Tue, May 28, 2013
- CSRS Conference - Une Bibliotheque de memoires : le fonds Seghers a l'Universite de Victoria... Tue, May 28, 2013
- CSRS Public Lecture - The Bishop's Books: The Seghers Collection at the University of Victoria... Tue, May 28, 2013
- Catholic Legacies in Victoria/Patrimoines catholiques de Victoria ... Tue, May 28, 2013